Bianca Jakobsson has been crowned St Kilda’s 2022 AFLW Best & Fairest, edging out fellow Saints leader Tilly Lucas-Rodd by a single vote in tonight’s thrilling count.

Jakobsson (62 votes total) and Lucas-Rodd (61) were separated by one vote heading into the final match of the season against Adelaide, with both receiving the same number of votes (seven) in the closing round for the key defender to retain her slender lead.

Captain Hannah Priest joined the pair on the podium with 47 votes, while last year’s third-place getter Cat Phillips (39 votes) and Molly McDonald (24 votes) finished inside the top-five.

Jakobsson – who polled votes in all 10 games of the season – nudged ahead of Lucas-Rodd in Round 5, holding a handy buffer over her teammate up until the penultimate game of the season.

The latter’s maximum-vote performance against Geelong put her within striking distance of top honours, setting the stage for the exhilarating end to the evening.

Jakobsson was a resolute leader in defence throughout the Saints’ challenging year, more often than not grappling with the competition’s best forwards without sacrificing her own game.

The 29-year-old finished the 2022 AFLW home-and-away season first in the league for rebound-50s and seventh for intercept possessions, complementing her career-best average of 16 disposals and five rebound-50s per game.

Jakobsson also received the peer-voted AFLW Crest Award during tonight’s ceremonies for best epitomising the club’s values both on and off the field.

Tarni White (sixth) and co-vice-captain Kate Shierlaw (ninth) finished inside the top-10 for the third consecutive year, with Nicola Xenos (seventh), Darcy Guttridge (eighth) and Caitlin Greiser (tenth) rounding out the group.

Xenos was also awarded the Best Emerging Player Award, presented by the Hello Consulting Group, Lucas-Rodd the fan-voted Dare Iced Coffee Sainter of the Year and Jayde Van Dyk the AFLW Personal Excellence and Dual Career Award, presented by the True Believers Coterie Group.

2022 AFLW Best & Fairest leaderboard

1. Bianca Jakobsson – 62 votes
2. Tilly Lucas-Rodd – 61 votes
3. Hannah Priest – 47 votes
4. Cat Phillips – 39 votes
5. Molly McDonald – 24 votes
6. Tarni White – 19 votes
7. Nicola Xenos – 18 votes
8. Darcy Guttridge – 17 votes
=9. Kate Shierlaw – 15 votes
=9. Caitlin Greiser – 15 votes

01:13 Mins
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2022 AFLW Best and Fairest | Winner

Bianca Jakobsson has won the 2022 AFLW Best and Fairest, watch her highlights from the season.

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